“Every night I go onstage, it’s like a uniform,” says Micky James of The Karma Killers, the New Jersey–based post-punk band. “It’s a reflection of who you are and what you sound like. When we walk onstage, we mean it.” For the frontman, that includes leather jackets, an oversize cross earring, and lots of louche shirting in animal prints—which wouldn’t look out of place on a Gucci or Saint Laurent runway. “It is all about being yourself,” he adds, noting, “whatever is on my body is an honest reflection of how I’m feeling, who I really am, and what I and the [band] are all about.”
The 23-year-old says his style depends on his mood, but a quick scan of his ensembles shows how they reflect the band’s sound: tough and edgy with a sweet melody. “There is a sense of nostalgia—I’d say I’m eclectic,” says James, who counts a Schott leather jacket, black Levi’s, and Jeffery-West boots as his staples. “It’s very comfortable.” That relaxed rocker vibe is in part a reaction to his upbringing. “Most of my life, I’ve grown up in a desolate, farm-populated town in New Jersey where it is a little tough to be expressive,” he says. “Going on the road ultimately allows me to be my complete self with my style.” And the boys are hitting the road again. After finishing up a tour with Tribe Society this month, the band will play a series of dates with fellow rockers Dreamers in late March and April. Any hints as to James’s wardrobe for the upcoming sets? “Loud,” he says. “I want everyone’s full attention.” Spoken like a true rock star.
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